29 April 2011

The Best Laid Plans

I was a tad late jumping on the Royal wedding bandwagon. But I finally made it. I asked to Husby earlier this week to DVR the festivities on NBC. (I do love the Today show and NBC correspondents.) He set it to record from 3am-9am. I figured that I'd see everything I wanted to see and some that I didn't care about seeing, but since it would be DVRed, I could fast forward through all the not so fabulous parts.

My plan was to get up at 5am and make coffee and muffins. You know, the American version to tea and crumpets. Mainly because I have no idea where to buy crumpets. And I'd need the extra caffeine afforded by coffee. I was excited to see Kate's dress, mostly.

But then my body decided to turn against me. I have some sort of cold-sinus infection what-have-you, and my only option to rid my body of aches was a healthy dose of NyQuil. As soon as I conceded to this being necessary, I knew that I'd miss the Royal wedding as the rest of the world watched. The good news is that the NyQuil has a lasting effect, so I have absolutely no emotion for having missed it. And since it's DVRed, I'll have plenty of time to catch-up this weekend.

I was able to watch TLC yesterday afternoon and decided that I would LOVE to rock the hats like Kate Middleton does. Seriously, I love hats. And I love her hats and fascinators. I think she's just gorgeous!

This weekend, I cannot wait to see details of the wedding. I know it will be fabulous. Even as I watched TLC yesterday, I loved seeing the interaction between Kate and William!

And as a side note: I was most disappointed when I discovered Prince William is just a bit younger than me. Oh how I hoped that he would find a girl worth marrying in east Texas. But I just knew that I couldn't marry younger. I'm so glad he found someone.

28 April 2011

Learning During Lent

This year, for Lent, I gave up facebook. For the first two weeks, all I wanted to do was write on this blog about HOW HARD IT WAS. But I was convited that complaining about sacrifice is not the purpose of sacrifice. So I refrained. And writer's block set in. Thus my lag in blogging (if you were wondering).

Overall, signing off of facebook for 50 plus days was the best thing I've done in a long time. It was a hard decision. I'm always tempted to give up something that won't be challening. (Like not eating English peas or cooked carrots. No problem there since I don't care for either!) But I KNEW that the Lord was urging me to change my focus drastically. I think that you could call my obsession with facebook an addiction. I had a discussion with my advisory group at school that it's automatic to sign into facebook whenever a computer is near--and sometimes we don't remember getting there. Yikes!

So on March 9, I signed out of facebook and Husby changed my password. Although temptation was abundant, there was NO WAY I could sign on. Initially, I had an issue with asking for help from him since it removed an element of self-control from the sacrifice, but later decided that it's okay to have help from others when a change needs to be made.

During my time away, we bought a house (which we found in the first few days away). I feel like the Lord blessed this sacrifice. Does he always bless when we sacrifice? Probably not. Would we have found the house if I'd been on facebook? Maybe so. Will I only sacrifice in order to receive a blessing? No way. But I do feel that this is a gift from Him for obedience.

And OH IT WAS HARD when we hit snags in being approved for our mortgage! I came up with clever status updates that I could have posted IF I'D ONLY BEEN ABLE, but I wasn't. I wanted so badly to type a snide comment, but I couldn't. Each time I felt frustrated, my option was to pray about it. I've felt REALLY convicted about this. How often do I turn to facebook or a friend or my husband about a problem before I turn to my God?

Some gave me a hard time--in love, I'm sure--about not being on facebook. I laughed it off. After a couple of weeks of not accessing it approxmiately 3843 times a day, I was out of the loop. Honesly, it was nice. Since Lent ends on Easter--in celebration--I could have signed on as soon as I woke up. Again, I was convicted that the celebration isn't about what we get back that day--in terms of our sacrifice. We celebrate because Jesus rose from the grave; we get our lives back in return for his sacrifice. I decided that I'd sign on that evening, after we'd spent time at church and with friends and family. When I did, I was bored. Since Sunday, I've signed on probably once a day.

For now, it's lost its luster. And I hope that it doesn't become the focus that it was before the sacrifice. I fear that I substitute my "friendships" on facebook for relationships in real life. And relationships are so important to me. I want to talk to people and to write letters and notes of encouragement and not comment on a funny status. I know that taking a [hopefully permanent] step back might mean that I don't know about the fun, daily things in the life of my [actual] friends, but that'll have to be okay. I want to invest in lives and not facebook.

I remember several years ago--before facebook--when my friend, Allison and me would send each other funny cards. I loved choosing the cards and writing a special note, and I loved receiving a special piece of mail addressed to me and not a bill or a piece addressed to "Current Resident." But life has gotten busy, and I've forgotten how sweet a card can be.

My goal is to send handwritten notes to my friends. Hopefully one each week. I have stamps and cute cards. Now, I have time to write without the ever-present facebook.

27 April 2011

The Details

Last week, Husby and I bought a house. The process of finding the house we like was easy. One day we decided to look; less than a week later we made an offer on the first house we saw. It was love at first sight. Our offer was accepted and the mortgage approval began. The house-buying was rather frustrating and difficult. I think I cried every day over something. At one point, I wanted to lose the earnest money. Or poke my eyeballs out. Either seemed better than all we had to go through for a mortgage. I think we did everything but a blood sample to get our mortgage approved.

(A few years ago my brother called me dramatic. I didn't understand why.)
(Now, I think I do.)
Originally, I thought we'd get a house where we would make a few adjustments. But then we found this home. That's when we determined that we're not really the people who make adjustments to homes. It really is move-in ready. 
(Don't be completely fooled, I have a 5-year to do list.)
(It involves new kitchen cabinets, new floors and moving the living room wall out about 5 feet.)
(But for now, it's absolutely fine.) 
Here are a few pictures of our new abode:

Our backyard looks out over a green belt owned by our school district. The fence has a gate that opens so that a child can walk to school. Because we're nerdy and have favorite trees, I'd like to share that this house has almost all of our favorite trees. These include: Dogwood, Bradford pear, Redbud and Japanese maple. I'd like to add a Magnolia tree in the front yard at some point.

The only downside is that this area has a problem with copperhead snakes. On a scale of 1 to 10, my hatred of snakes is 287. In fact, last week on the news we heard a story about 70 snakes that were saved from the hands of a snake smuggler. I sarcastically commented that I was SO GLAD THE SNAKES DIDN'T DIE. I realize that they are God's creatures, but I don't cry when there's one (or 70) less snakes in the world.

(The word you're looking for is ANYWAY...)

We've been advised to sprinkle moth balls around our yard and house. Snakes don't like the smell of them. Neither do I, really, but I like moth balls more than snakes. So if you live within a 30 mile radius and are in the need of moth balls, you'll need to order them online.

Here are before pictures of the inside (taken for the real estate add by the former owners, so it's all of their stuff). All of the common areas were a buttery yellow. Not bad, but not me. Then there was a nursery painted light blue with white enamel clouds sponge-painted on. Again, not me. Not even for a babe. (Nothing's in the oven. No need to ask.) One of my favorite things in a house are white, plantation shutters. I'm not a big fan of curtains since my style changes every 2.7 years. This house has them on every window. Love it!

Before moving in, we decided that the colors must change. I'm a big believer in Sherwin Williams paint, so that's what we bought. It can be more expensive, but it covers so much better.
I realize that it's a bold move to go with a color like Refuge in the living room, but all of our furniture is neutral--a chocolate brown couch, khaki chairs. I'm really excited to see it with our furniture moved in. My inspiration was the entry way on Modern Family. I fell in love with the color the moment I saw it. This isn't a great picture, but you can see a small patch each time they narrate from the couch.
Painters were at our house last Friday and Saturday; their names are: Kristina, Dad, Brother and Husby. Today my mother-in-law and her sister are painting the kitchen. Without me there. Bless them. I offered for them to wait until I got off work, but they assured me that they didn't mind working without me. We are so thankful to all who have helped us. The good news for them is that we believe in hiring movers!
We cannot wait to be in our new house. Instead of packing logically, I've been tempted to dump everything into boxes and sort it out at our new home. However, my OCD has prevented me from doing this.
In other news, this is the next busiest time at work. Graduation is May 14, and I'm helping to host a rather large going-away party for our chaplain the next day. After that, things will be so much better. I'm looking forward to slowing down just a bit--at least in one area of my life.

18 April 2011

What I'm Loving

Tomorrow at this time, Husby and I will be proud owners of this:

More info (and non-grainy pictures) to come...

05 April 2011

A Wish List

Over the weekend, Husby and I talked about plans for my birthday week. See if you can detect the theme:

"My mom is coming over on Tuesday night. We're going for sushi. Do you want to go?"

"Oooh...we still have that voucher for Marble Slab. Let's go on Wednesday."

"I can't decide what I should request for your mom to cook for my birthday dinner at their house on Thursday."

"Where should we go to dinner on Friday?"

"You know, Brent and Patti will be here on Saturday. I think I'll cook dinner, even though it's for my birthday."

Then he said that we needed to go shopping for my birthday. Bless him! Of course I have a few things in mind, but then he said that he's usually able to find a wish list on my blog. Since I haven't done a wish list since Christmas, I thought I'd help out my sweet husband. (Also if other people--like my brothers--need an idea, just choose one.)

1. I'm not sure whether I'd use this Anthropologie egg crate in the fridge or to store my rings and earrings. But I've had my eye on it for a while!

2. I l.o.v.e. serving ware. I have a ton, but I don't have all of the sizes I'd like. This serving bowl--also from Anthropologie--sure is cute:

3. I adore big earrings. Everyday, I wear pearls or big earrings. Here's a pair that caught my eye:
Etsy: Iris Jewelry Design

4. I'd be totally fine with a massage or pedicure Belladona:

5. I watched the Les Miserables 25th anniversary concert that I recorded on PBS. I loved it. It made me realize that I love it just as much as Wicked, which I thought was my new favorite musical. I was wrong. I can't decide between the DVD and CD of the concert, so I'd choose both.

6. One of my teacher friends came into my office today to show me her jazzed up Toms wedges. They were SO CUTE! She even bedazzled them. Now, I'd like a pair for summer. (Side note: I've recently begun wearing heals again. Almost every day. It's amazing.) I'd like these gray tie dye wedges. (Husby, if you read this: Racquet & Jog has Toms.)